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Luke Maitland
Family Archives
Imperial War Museum

John Maitland Hardyman

An extract from a research paper by Sheila Edwards, Bathwick Local history Society which provides information on the Hardyman and Maitland family connection to Bath and those of the family buried within Smallcombe Cemetery.


John Hay Maitland Hardyman came from a large professional family that originated in Scotland on his father’s side and Ireland on his mother’s side (maiden name Maitland). The Maitland family were related to the Earl of Lauderdale.


From around 1880 right through to the late 1940s various members of the Hardyman family were resident in Bath, Bathwick, Widcombe, Combe Down and Lansdown as Doctors, Military, and Clergymen. Many of them are buried in local parish churchyards.


From written records and references to the Hardyman family it is clear that Christian belief and moral principles were solidly built into their lives, religious worship appears to have been split between Anglican and Presbyterian.


On the military side devotion to duty, courage, bravery and leadership was at the fore and there were at least two holders of the Victoria Cross, several Distinguished Service Orders and the Military Cross. The Clerics, their wives and other female members of the family are recorded also as working as missionaries around the world including China and other parts of the Far East.


John Hay, Maitland Hardyman’s father, Dr George Hardyman M.B.C.M., F.R.C.S. Edin., F.R.M.S., was born in Scotland in 1862 and died at Bath in 1944. He was the eldest of three brothers and two sisters born to John Hay Hardyman W.S. (Writer to the Signet, Scotland) and Annabella his wife. His younger brother the Reverend Lucius Hardyman was a member of the clergy at Bath Abbey for some years. He died in 1946 aged 77 years and is buried in Abbey Cemetery, Perrymead, Bath.


George Hardyman was educated at Fettes College, Edinburgh, and Edinburgh University. His father, John Hardyman, died in Scotland in 1871 and in l876 his widowed mother, Annabella, remarried Edward Vaughan Forshall, a Theoloy master in Armagh. In August 1887 they moved to Bath where Edward Forshall set up a Preparatory school at No.10 Lansdown Place East. Soon after Edward Forshall’s death in 1891, Annabella moved to No.28 Henrietta Street, Bathwick, where she lived until her death in 1903. The Forshall’s are both buried in the St Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Bathwick.


Shortly after qualifying as a surgeon in Edinburgh in 1889 Dr Hardyman came to Bath where he took consulting rooms at the Paragon. His place of residence was given as No.43 Great Pulteney Street, Bathwick. In 1891 he married firstly Constance Christian Beath in West Wickham, Kent, and they returned to Great Pulteney Street. in April 1892 a daughter, Constance Christian Beatrice Beath, was born, however Constance Hardyman died a few days later aged just 24 years.

On September 5"‘ 1893 Dr George Hardyman married secondly Eglantine Henrietta Keith Lauderdale Maitland at St Thomas a Becket Church, the Parish Church of Lyncombe & Widcombe, Bath. The bride was a Sunday School teacher at Widcombe, and her address was given as Perrymead House, Lyncombe &Widcombe, the home of her father, Lieutenant General John Maitland.


John Hay Maitland, their first son, was born the following year on 28th September at No.43 Great Pulteney Street and by 1901 the family had increased to five children. The Census for that year recorded: ‘At No.43 Pulteney Street, Bath: Head, George Handyman aged 38, Medical Practitioner, born Scotland. Wife, Eglantine H. K. aged 37, born Scotland. Constance C. Beath aged 8, scholar, born Bath.’ John H. M. aged 6, born Bath. Malcolm L. aged  5, born Bath. Myrtle R. E. aged 2, born Bath. Harry F. R. aged 1, born Bath.

There were also four servants (including two nurses) in the household.


Tragedy continued to strike at the family and on 17"‘ June 1903 twin siblings were born. Their lives were short, Victor died on the same day of his birth followed by Phyllis Just five days later on the 23"‘ June (these two babies are remembered on a family memorial in St Mary the Virgin Churchyard. Following this on 28"‘ June 1903 Dr Hardyman’s mother, Mrs Annabella Gibson Forshall died aged 75 years.


After the death of their eldest son Lieut.-Colonel John H. M. Hardyman on 24"‘ August 1918, Dr Hardyman and his wife Eglantine and their remaining children moved from Bathwick to Perrymead House, (previously known as Perrymead Court), the home of Eglantine’s father, the late Lieut.-General John Maitland), though Dr Hardyman kept consulting rooms at No.8 Laura Place.


Eglantine Henrietta Keith Hardyman died of Pneumonia on 19"’ July 1930 aged 66 years and is buried in St Mary the Virgin Churchyard. The Bath Chronicle reported that Dr Hardyman was also seriously ill at the time.


Over the years Dr George Hardyman took on many medical duties and sat on numerous committees including The Bath Temperance Society and The Royal National Mineral Water Hospital. In 1896 he was deputy Medical Officer of Health for Bath, to Dr Anthony Brabazon who also lived in Bathwick at No.12 Darlington Street. When Dr Brabazon died in 1896 Dr Hardyman took on the role of M.o.H until a successor for the post was found.


Dr Hardyman died on 9"‘ January 1944 aged 81 years and is buried in St Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Smallcombe with both his first and second wives. The inscription on their memorial reads:


East face



“To depart and be with christ for it is far better.”

“For God so loved the world that  he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life" 


South face  



DIED JULY 19th 1930 


“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"


North face 




"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints”


Dr Hardyman’s mother, Annabella is buried in the adjoining grave with Edward Vaughan Forshall. Catherine, Dr Hardyman’s sister and her husband the Reverend James Napier Soden are also interred in this churchyard.



‘The History of Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert’s) 1914- 1918 ’, records:

“... on the night of 1 0" '/1 l "' August the enemy attempted to raid the Battalion ’s front line which ran just east of the north-eastern end of Bucquoy. Under cover of a creeping barrage and the darkness hostile raiders, about sixty in number, succeeded in capturing several posts, though the garrisons retired to defensive positions. The triumph of the Germans was, however, short-lived, for Private Osbourne, who had retired with his comrades to the defensive positions, organized a counter-attack, drove the enemy out of the captured posts and sent him back to his own lines in a hurry. The retreating Germans were caught in the S.0.S. barrage which caused many casualties and threw the survivors into confusion. One outstanding feature of this raid was the confidence inspired by the personal presence of the C. 0. Immediately the S.0.S. signal was sent up Lieut.-Colonel Hardyman rushed off to the scene of action and his presence undoubtedly made all the difference to his men who as the Battalion Diary has it, “were only boys who had seen little or no previous service ”


For the above occasion Lieut.-Colonel Hardyman was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) with the words:


“Thanks to his gallant leadership and endurance, the position, which was of great tactical importance was maintained.” (Private Osborne received the D.C.M.).


On August 21st 1918 at 04.55 hours the Battle of Albert began at Chaulnes, a place west of Bucquoy, and on the following night the 8th Battalion moved position. On the morning of the 23rd Achiet-le-Grand and Bihucouit were attacked. Two companies from the 8th were then provided as ‘mopping-up’ patties working with the tanks that were attacking Achiet-le- Grand. Between them these parties of men captured two hundred of the enemy who were hiding out in dug-outs and ruined buildings also fifteen machine guns. Later that day the Battalion took over the Line in front of Bihucourt, however the enemy still held a machine- gun pocket near the village. This was attacked and thirty more prisoners and guns were captured.


Early the next morning (the 24"‘) during fierce fighting, the Advance in Picardy continued towards Bienvillers. However such was the heavy bombardment that it was decided to evacuate Bienvillers.


“It was during a personal reconnaissance that Lieut.-Colonel J.M. Hardyman, the C. 0., was killed by a shell. With his Battle Headquarters he had previously moved up to his position in a tank "


The following message was sent to the 8th Battalion:


“The Divisional Commander wishes to congratulate LOGE (8"' Somersets) on the capture of Bienvillers which was of the utmost importance to the present operations. He deeply regrets the death of Lieut. -Colonel Hardyman in the moment of victory. His splendid leadership and magnificent gallantry will never be forgotten.”


The human cost to the 8th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry of the operations of August 2nd -26th l9l8 was high. Their Commanding Officer (John H. M. Hardyman) was killed five officers wounded and one hundred and sixty-four other ranks killed, wounded and missing. The Battalion had captured three hundred enemy, two trench mortars, thirteen machine—guns and three 5.9 howitzers.  Lieut.-Colonel John Hay Maitland Hardyman is buried in the Bienvillers Military Cemetery France, grave number: XIX F ll. The inscription on the headstone is as follows: 




D.S.O., M.C.


DlED 24"‘ AUGUST 1918 AGED 23

Scholar, Poet, Orator

Justified by faith in Jesus Christ




In 1919 a volume of John Hay Maitland Hardyman’s poems was published entitled:


'A Challenge’ by Maitland Hardyman, Lt.-Col., D.S.O., M.C.


In February 1923 a copy of the book, signed by his father Dr George Hardyman was donated to the Bath Reference Library. Within its pages the poignant verses give just a glimpse of the man and his thoughts. They also speak of the trenches, the wounded and the isolation endured in the 1914-18 war.


Much has been recorded and written of the events of that time. As living history, eye witness accounts are a legacy of huge importance therefore when almost ninety five years after the Great War finally ended, someone comes forward with a personal account of what happened to Lieut.-Colonel John H. M. Hardyman on the battlefield it is of special historical interest. In November 2011, at the start of a project undertaken by members of The Bathwick Local History Society to restore the memorial in our parish churchyard to Lieut.-Colonel Hardyman, a notice was placed in ‘The Bath Chronicle’ and reprinted a few days later in ‘The Western Daily Press’, in an attempt to trace any living relatives or friends of the Hardyman family. No information regarding any descendants has been forthcoming, but two replies from other interested parties were received. One of these came from Mr Albert Carruel who lives in Somerset. He and his wife rarely buy ‘The Western Daily Press’ but did so on that particular day. He saw the notice and contacted the Society. The following text is copied from Mr Carruel’s moving written account of the words his late father spoke to him of Lieut.-Colonel Hardyman, and which he (Mr Carruel) has sent to the Society for recording in this document.


“30 May 2012

 My name is Albert William Carruel (A. C.), son of Auguste Albert Carruel, Army No. 5662879. His Regiment was Somerset Light Infantry.


Dad was a Private in the 8th Battalion in August I918 under the Command of Colonel Hardyman. My Dad was very proud to say he was under the Command of the youngest [Lieut.] Colonel in the British Army. In August 1918 the Line the Somerset. Light. Infantry. was holding came under attack from German Lines. Their [Lieut.] Colonel Hardyman was away from the Front. When the Attack started he hastened to the Front saying “I must look after my boys. ” After the skirmish it was said the [Lieut.] Colonel was missing. My Dad was in one of the platoons sent out looking for wounded and dead. The platoon found [Lieut.] Colonel Hardyman laying on his back with no sign of injury. They said  “wake up Sir" thinking he was asleep. On lifiing him up onto a stretcher he had a wound to the back of his head which had killed him.”


Also included with the above account was a card and a copy of a photograph of John H M Hardyman’s grave in Bienvillers Military Cemetery, taken in July 2004 when members of the Carruel family visited the Military Cemeteries of Northern France 


An extract from the card reads as follows: 


“I am so glad to have had the opportunity to pass on the story my Dad told for years about Colonel Hardyman”


Mr Carruel also remembers how his late father spoke almost nothing of his own experiences in the trenches and battles during the 1914-18 war but talked often of Lieut.—Colonel  Hardyman and how he [the Lieut.-Col.] cared for his men, calling them “My Boys ” and “I’ve got to go up to the Front, I've got to be with my boys” 


His father would also say:


 “He [Lieut.-Col. Hardyman] was always with us”.


 Mr Auguste Carruel died in 1994 aged 95 years.

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Known for...

Scholar, Poet and at 23 the youngest ever British Army Lieutenant Colonel in WW1


Lieutenant Colonel, Scholar, Poet, Orator

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